Usually I do not write about things that are on my mind on this blog (or any blog for that matter) unless of course they are letter related. But today I am making a special exception. Mainly because this has been on my mind all week now..and I need an outlet to share it.
As many of you may have heard (it made national news after all) there was a school shooting in Chardon Ohio on Monday. TJ Lane, the suspected shooter (he admits it), went into the cafeteria of Chardon High School and randomly shot 5 students. According to reports he never once said anything, just stood up, turned around and unloaded 10 rounds into his classmates. He was then chased from the building by the assistant football coach and willingly turned himself in to officers that were arriving on scene.
Since the shooting 3 of the 5 students have died from gunshot wounds to the head. One is still in serious condition for a neck wound and the only female student shot was released from the hospital yesterday. TJ Lane appeared in juvenile court yesterday for a preliminary hearing where he admitted he took the weapons to school and fired ten rounds. The prosecution has until March 1st to formally bring charges against him, which most likely will include three counts of aggravated murder.
Now, Chardon is just 20 miles north of here. Just a stones throw really. Its not a big city, nor a bad neighborhood. It is like much of Northeast Ohio, a sleepy little tight knit community. Of all places here in Ohio, no one would have ever suspected Chardon. That's the cliche isn't it? It could never happen here. Well on Monday it most certainly DID happen here. And its affects can be felt all throughout this part of Ohio.
The biggest reason it is on my mind is this. Mr. Carter attends Crestwood Elementary. Again..just 20 miles south of Chardon. Not one, but two students were arrested yesterday at the High School (just down the street from the Elementary) for threatening remarks and photos. The one boy was on a bus when he was detained and later arrested for threatening harm to others on the bus. But the one that really bothers me is this. The second boy posted on his Facebook on Feb 22 that he wanted to go on a stabbing spree at school. That he was tired of dealing with people. Then to be followed by a post yesterday that included the status to the affect of, who agrees with their friend that shooting up a school is a good idea?. Now that might not be so bad, I can certainly see where it could be taken out of context..but if thats the case, why did the same student then change his profile picture to one where he is holding an assault rifle? What is going through the heads of these teens? Even if you were going to joke about it (how sick do you have to be?) why would you do it so publicly?
There were multiple incidents that happened in schools here yesterday and as I was writing this another school in NE Ohio was on lockdown because a student was making threatening remarks. There were two bomb scares yesterday in local schools and threats written on bathroom walls. Who thinks that is a good idea? Why aren't their parents teaching their children that violence isn't an answer, nor should remarks be made like that..even if just a joke?
I was in school once too. I know how rough it can be when you are trying to fit in and the pressures to do so. I know the sting you feel when things don't go your way and you get rejected by the peers you wish so desperately to get along with. The difference is, I never once EVER thought or said I was going to shoot or harm anyone. I never once thought that would solve my problems. When did our society become so desensitized to violence that our youth now see it as a way to "fix" their problems?
I don't really know how to end this post. This one was certainly more for me than you. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to read my little corner of the internet. (Even when I veer so far off topic).